10 common mistakes people make when starting a business

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Starting a business can be both exciting and exhausting.

You feel a sudden rush of excitement as you launch your dream venture.

You also feel exhausted because there are tons of decisions to make, and making wrong decisions can hinder your business’s success.

Starting a business is a venture that involves dedicating your resources. Studies have, however, shown that several new businesses fail within their first five years of operation.

Starting a business

While new business owners think that true dedication and hard work are the most essential ingredients for success, but they soon discover that some common mistakes could also cause setbacks in the early stages of a news business.

There is no laid-out plan that can guarantee the success of a new business. There are, however, common and dangerous mistakes that could hinder the success of the business. This article enumerates the common mistakes people make when starting a business.

1. Neglecting the planning phase.

Starting a business entails creating concrete plans, including a marketing plan, financial plan, and business plan. While planning can be time-consuming, it is essential to study the market potential before starting a business.

2. Not setting SMART goals.

Goals serve as a guide when starting your business. It guides you on what steps to take and what needs to be done to achieve your specified objectives.

For example, setting SMART goals will ensure that you take into account your strengths and weaknesses. These goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Determining your strengths and weaknesses will help you evaluate your business model. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy meeting or interacting with new people, engaging in a business, such as trading, might not work for you.

You might need to acquire such skills or hire workers with people skills.

3. Failure to invest in marketing.

Marketing can come in several forms, such as internet marketing and traditional advertising. While there are no set rules for marketing, your target audience will determine the best marketing type to invest in.

Effective marketing requires capital and human resources. Thus, several businesses skip this stage with the assumption of understanding the attitude of their target audience. ‘Build it, and they will come’ is a mistake several businesses make.

Creating a marketing plan will make you understand your competitors and how the market operates. If you consider online marketing, hire a digital marketer to create social media platforms (such as LinkedIn and Facebook) and a website for showcasing your business. When your target customers search for products and services, they should find your products and services online.

4. Not identifying your ideal customer.

Creating a successful marketing campaign entails identifying your ideal customer. You should be able to identify your target customers and where to find them. You must also understand how they will respond to your marketing campaign.

5. Neglecting new technology.

Several business owners assume they do not need to respond to advancements in technology. Well, this doesn’t seem right. Irrespective of your business’s nature, up-to-date technologies are needed to understand the market and compete with rival companies.

Technology can promote efficiency, save costs, and provide new opportunities. For example, Google Analytics can help you understand how your business performs online.

6. Planning only for success.

Entrepreneurs can be so confident that their ideas will be successful. While it is necessary to plan for success, you should also note that some plans may not turn out as planned. For a business to be successful, it needs to plan on setbacks and budget for them.

7. Overspending.

You may not always require a large investment when starting a business. However, some entrepreneurs believe that to run a successful business, they need to purchase the most expensive equipment and implement costly marketing campaigns. What they fail to realise is that there are always less expensive options that are equally useful.

To run a successful business, create a business budget, or get one created by an expert. This budget should be adhered to in order to prevent overspending. Additionally, consider using prepaid debit cards for your business expenses. It can help you stay within your budget as you load a specific amount onto the card and use it for business purchases. This way, you can track your expenses more efficiently and avoid going over your budget.

8. Doing everything alone.

Business owners may want to learn all skills and do everything by themselves. It is, however, not a good practice. It is almost impossible for a sole business owner to handle the logistic, legal, and financial aspects of a business.

One of the best ways for business owners to grow their businesses is by building a team to achieve the stated goals. This way, they would be able to focus on areas that require their expertise. For the desired success, hire the right hands and delegate tasks.

For example, if you are not well-versed in accounting, you may require an accountant’s skill to handle the financial aspects of your business.

9. Ignoring the legal aspect of your business.

Irrespective of the nature of your business, there must be proper documentation and registration processes. It would be best to give considerations to payroll, tax, copyright, and a host of others. To avoid restrictions from the government, these legal necessities must be adhered to. When starting a business, ensure you seek help from a legal practitioner.

10. Undervaluing your products and services.

The desire to attract many customers, fear of failure, and a lack of confidence are likely reasons why new businesses underprice their products and services. When this is done, it can hinder the profitability of the business.

Charging low prices for high-quality products and services will impair your profit margins. Your products might even be perceived to be inferior. It is because customers are willing to pay more for high-quality goods and services.

Conduct thorough market research to avoid underpricing your products. It will assist in identifying the best entry point for your goods and services.


Some common reasons why small businesses fail during their first few years are due to common mistakes that can be prevented. Learning about these mistakes and preventing them will contribute to the growth of your business.

Growing a successful business entails getting things right at an early stage.

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